How to get the most out of Music Lessons
Congratulations! You want what is best for your child, so you chose CMS music lessons. Now that you have made this important first step, we would like to assist you in defining and understanding your involvement. Here are a few of the basics to assist you in supporting your child’s continuing musical education.
1.) Sit with them for the first few months of lessons, as often as possible. For those younger children, call it “Play Time” and not “Practice.” Children need help in developing the discipline to practice on their own.
2.) If possible, choose the same time and duration each day. For example, each day immediately after school for a minimum of 20-30 minutes (best before everyone is too tired). If you miss a day here and there, don’t be concerned. You could also try splitting the practice time into 2 equal sessions of 15 minutes – in the morning and afternoon.
3.) Positive feedback is very important. Help your child through the ups and downs. Be cheerful and encouraging always. At the end of your practice session, make sure the last thing you do is fun. Do not withhold lessons as a punishment, especially for not practicing. Find an alternative if you must (withholding TV, video games, computer time, etc.)
4.) Years of Study. We know through years of experience that if a child stays with lessons for at least three years, he or she will have a foundation and appreciation of music that will last a lifetime. A priceless gift. The first year is fun. The second is more challenging. In the third year, interesting music is ready to be mastered, and your child will be considered a “musician.”
5.) Your child may want to quit from time to time. This is normal. Music lessons can go through difficult stages at times. At these times, discontinuing lessons may seem to be the obvious solution. Children who are allowed to quit rarely return to lessons. Adults who quit too early as children often wish their parents had made them “stick with lessons.” We have never heard a parent say, “I’m glad my parents let me quit.” It is often those children who frequently take lessons with us as adults.
If the subject of quitting comes up, we recommend that you be the “decision maker.” A child is not capable of seeing ahead and realizing the value of a music education. We make all kinds of decisions that we know are best for our children.